Uhuru, Muthaura to stay in office, says AG

Attorney General Githu Muigai (right) and Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko (left) during a press conference at the State Law Office on January 24, 2012. PHOTO I William Oeri

The government will decide the fate of Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura after their appeal on the ruling by the International Criminal Court confirming charges against them, Attorney General Githu Muigai said on Tuesday.

The AG made the announcement as he unveiled a 10-member team that will advice the State on available options following the ruling by the ICC judges confirming charges on four out of six Kenyan suspects.

Prof Muigai reasoned that the two suspects, accused of perpetrating crimes against humanity, are charged in their "individual capacity".

He said the government will await the result of their appeals before determining whether to dismiss the duo from office.

"The suspects are appearing in their individual capacity. The Government cannot speak on their behalf on what to do and what not to do," said Prof Muigai.

The suspects must submit an appeal against the ruling within five calendar days from Monday. The appeal will then be determined within 60 days.

The team of 10 that will advice government is composed of Geoffrey Nice, Rodney Dickson, Godfrey Musila, Fred Ojiambo, Joe Okwach, Waweru Gatonye, Betty Murungi, Lucy Kambuni, Grace Wakio and Dr Henry Mutahi.

The panel will also advise on the government's previously unsuccessful efforts to challenge the jurisdiction of the ICC on the Kenyan cases.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka had been the face of a similar effort last year that was characterised by a spate of shuttle diplomacy to mobilise the African Union members to support Kenya's push to have the cases tried locally.

The Attorney General also announced that he will lobby Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to form a special division of the High Court that will deal with crimes arising from post election violence.

"I will be approaching the Chief Justice with a view of summoning the JSC to discuss a possibility of setting up a division of the High Court to deal with crimes of international character," said Mr Muigai.

The Attorney General, Police Commissioner Matthew Iteere, Director of Public Prosecution have also constituted themselves into "an agency that will re-evaluate all pending prosecutions on post-election violence so that they can be expeditiously resolved."

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